tv [untitled] August 30, 2012 4:37pm-5:07pm PDT
publicly a sensible. it is important that the tills be worked out in terms of doorways, signage, that this connection be made very visible. i am disappointed when i read the amended resolution that there is no reference to this in the resolution. this is extremely important and it needs to be directly memorialized by the commission. i would ask that language be included to do so. for example, it is page 6 of the resolution, there is a reference to the connection to the west of the south of the east, there is no reference to the connection of the north. have in that connection to the north is very important. i would ask that you amend the resolution to refer to that. thank you. commissioner wu: thank you. let me call a few more names. [reading names]
>> hello. i am here as a senior with rheumatoid arthritis to tell you how when poor in this project is for a woman -- important this project is for a woman. i live in the mission now. i get my window spit at at all the time because i am on the ground floor. i need a safe place. this is very urgent. i feel that san francisco is a city that will do this because we will look good.
san francisco needs to look good for the seniors. if los angeles can do it, we can do it. let's be a catalyst. i want to state, when you see a senior smile, it is a beautiful thing. many will smile. commissioner wu: thank you. >> good evening. as a gay man and, -- not only are people disabled and gay and senior, they're also very active or have wheelchairs'. -- very @ schreck -- baraitriia
>> good afternoon, commissioners. i live just a few blocks from this project. we concur that this is a very important sites. we have been working for many years through several iterations to make sure this project is a good project. we think it has come a long ways. it is much better than it was. the site plan is more interesting, the architecture seems to be coming along. i want to talk about some urban design issues with this project. i am an architect and i do not believe that all architecture should be special. there's some places where it can be and other places where background buildings are important. i want to put it out there? i hope the designers will consider the gateway to waller park as an important part of
this project. look at the architecture there and think about how it can serve as a gateway to that important park. we all agree that the open house part of the project is a very important building. the renderings we have seen so far does not suggest that at all. a looks more like a holiday in to me -- holiday inn to me. i want to make sure that when the building is finished, we recognized it is a very special, interesting building. i want to -- other people have talked about the connection to haight street. it is a deadlock, it needs to be activated. i am glad to the developers is
looking at putting at connection, but if you look carefully at that, i believe it does not cut it. it is through an existing service door, down a very narrow corridor, down a service stair. it is really not something that one would consider a public grand entrance. to i realize there are lots of historic constraints, but if the project architects put on their creative caps, they can come up with interesting ways to activate this connection and make it much more public. commissioner wu: thank you. >> i am also very active with the neighborhood associations
transportation and planning committee. it is wonderful to see this project after all the work that has gone into it finally progressing to this final stage. the gentleman who spoke who said this was his first meeting, rightly identified one of the trade marks of this commission, really sticking to detail. while i broadly supports many of the changes that have been made to make this a much better project, i will still challenge you to take a closer look at some elements before you issue your final approval, you can make conditions of that approval. for example, the open house building design needs improvement. as we have all heard from the gay seniors who are here today,
this building needs and off -- means an awful lot to them. when you look at the richardson apartments, we can have the award winning beautiful buildings that are off listing. i would hope that given how important the open house component is, that would be one of the elements. a second improvement that can be made, it was mentioned that the buchanan street parking entrance, which serves 120 spaces, is 2-car clinks wide -- lengths wide. laguna has been reconfigured successfully to one car lenght. -- lenghth. peter spoke to the inadequacy of the current public access to
the community gardens. the community gardens, the community center are listed as the public amenities. amenities without good access to not mean much. in proving that small service door and the access would be -- improving that small service store and the access would be an enhancement. if you were able to specify a recreations of the mural at the entry of would hall, -- wood hall, that would add to the historic value of the entire project. commissioner wu: thank you. thyssen henderson and peter --
jason anderson and peter cohen. >> good evening. thank you for listening this evening and for your patience. we have been through many iterations. we are enthusiastic about adaptive reuse of this site. i would like to remind the commission that this is a unique site. this is publicly owned land. this is owned by the university of california, so it is not like your typical private development. this is a community resources. there is a higher barr, a higher expectation that this provide community benefit. the uc has been extremely difficult to deal with.
they have stubbornly insisted on 51 parking spaces for their dental school. on any given day, go check it out, there are 20 cars there at the most. 15 of those spaces can be marketed for anyone to use. the parking ratio is higher for the residential and then we are discussing. i want to draw your attention to the table in our letter to walk through it. [inaudible] this project has 333 market rate units. the right thing to do it, if this was a typical ncc project, would be 165 parking spaces.
thanks to the planning commission, we have gotten that on several projects. the developer, i think, is misleading folks by claiming that they are at .57 when they are throwing in the 110 senior units, which is a separate project. it is not the kind of housing -- and what we're talking about is 310 market rate parking spaces, 50 of which go to the dental school. and then you have the car share. i think that -- i note they are in the envelope of 2008, but it is egregious that we are still haggling over these ratios. the developer could have come down voluntarily. we're talking about affordable housing. speaking of affordable housing, we are supportive of this
project, but having just heard at the very beginning that the 50 bmr is not part of the motion is very disturbing. we had a deal going into this over the past year that there would be 50 bmr. that is a concern as well. president fong: thank you very much. peter cohen. >> good evening, commissioners. our involvement with this project has been very focused on the affordable housing. it is not directly in our area, but the affordable housing issues affect all of us in the upper market. we went to a very long one plan five-year of trying to come up with a housing program that was a win-win for everyone. we have been pitted, open house
senior affordable units versus bmr on-site units, which is a false dichotomy. the developer came together with us and we thought planning was with us, to, to agree that we would have all 50 bmr's in the project fully. that is what we came here to support. only if it is a firm commitment to the full 50. i came in a little late and i do not know what the story is. my understanding is that there is some understanding -- i can tell you my organization will not supported if it is a range. hrc worked very hard on this, too.
we came here to support a project that was 50 bmr's. if that is a technical glitch that we can fix, great. otherwise, it is a great project. on issues around design and parking and access, we do not have a position on the specific things. we defer to other organizations. but the affordable housing is important for all of us. i will put on my formal affordable housing had to say that when housing organizations saw this coming down the pike, we were very strong that that is not a pitting that we want. we should not be playing affordable housing versus bmr housing. this project is a great example of that solution.
thank you. >> good evening, everyone. this is one of those times when having your office next to city hall pays off. i ran over here. we have been involved in this project and some movement towards affordable housing from very early on. we were able to work with the board of supervisors and also open house to help them revision the project as one that instead of being a market rate was 100% affordable. using public land for public purpose was a better use of the land. having the first lgbt welcoming senior housing, we needed to be affordable and accessible to the
broadest range of lgbt seniors. as affordable housing advocates, we were helping people learn the lessons that the lgbt community got from prop 8. we were seeking marriage equality, but the criticisms is that the leadership did not have a history of partnering with other movements and other communities to address common cause. and so we were very adamant about making sure that the affordable housing units on site available to everybody else remained because we did not want to get into this pitting that says the ldp -- lgbt community is monopolizing all the affordable housing. i serve the entire hiv community and i want to make sure that everybody i work with has fair access to those 50 units of bmr.
we have been involved in this project for years and are 100% opposed to any reduction in the on-site affordable. this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate a commitment to all low-income communities in san francisco and not merely be seen as self-serving for the lgbt community. it is californians, it is prop 8, and part of our broader social movement. president fong: additional public comment? we will open up to commissioner questions. public comment is closed. commissioner sugaya: yes, i do
not know if staffas here to answer. -- staff is here to answer. i have something else, too. as far as the connection to haight street, i think we have to make sure that it is a proper kind of connection. there is a connection that goes into the community garden. that is an important connection. that can be designed and plant. the other one is through the building itself. we were given a description. we had a meeting with the design team on tuesday, it was described as a connection, but it seemed then that might be a little circuitous and not as direct as that could be. i think we need to think about that and perhaps include something with respect to a condition, if it is true that
the connection language only speaks to the other three streets. those are the first two questions i have. commissioner antonini: i have a few things. this is an excellent project. i am happy to see it move forward after it has been six years since the original. speaking a little bit to what is going on, we will find out more from staff about the affordable peace. -- piece. there were compromises that were made along the way anti think if they have to keep some flexibility in this -- along the way and i think they have to keep some flexibility in this. if nothing gets built, nobody gains. we have to allow staff that flexibility. on the issue of parking, we have
to take what is before us to be what is presented. that is the point -- .57 parking ratio. the dental school has their 51 parking spaces and it is up to them, we have to factor goes out of residential parking. we have the 10 car shares. it is fair to count the seniors among the parking ratio. there are many seniors who have cars. what the speaker spoke about the fact that this particular person was sleeping in his car. it allows independent and mobility and oftentimes, as you become a senior, i can see it happening that their mobility becomes less and the only way
they can get around as if they do of the vehicle. it is not that all the seniors will have cars, but a certain number of them will want to have cars. having them five blocks away is almost like not having them at all. it is a fair ratio, it makes sense that is my position. as far as the haight street entrance, that is very important. that has to be as large and as welcoming as possible to let people see there is an interior there and to be able to get there. the archway, wherever possible, if the archway is historic and cannot be enlarged, there may be a possibility -- if an opening can be made immediately behind
their said there is a visual corridor and they see the corridor before them and they can go through there to get to the interior rather than going in and having to circumnavigate the way to the other exit. that interior profile, you could move a door or window around without violating severely and make it welcoming to the public. there was also some mention of the driveway on buchanan being narrow. if it makes sense, if it is safe, if it does not compromise, if the with of that could be narrower, that makes sense. the other thing i saw, on the earlier iteration, while airpark would look like a larger grassy -- waller park would look like a grassy area. it is important to have the
community garden. you need an area whereon the grg on concrete. people want that kind of experience, and i think if you are spending most of your time in there, and your exterior spaces within the confines of the project, i certainly hope the landscape architect can design something like that. i see a constant change of elevation on waller, but i do not see a large area where there could be a sitting area with some grass where people could enjoy themselves. i would like to see the work into the plans. the only other thing i see is that some people said it looked holiday einn-ish. i know it will be better when it
is finished, but whatever we can do to make it richer in design, that would be great. >> i am also supportive of the project. i like seeing senior housing on site. i would be supportive of a condition to have a connection to the north, recognize the need to make that walkway as inviting and as obvious as possible. i wonder if staff are ready to answer questions about the 50 bmrs and also whether we can get an answer to whether they can be relocated. >> i guess the thinking was that by locking in 50 units, if something happens in the future,
and nobody in this room wants that to happen, but the future is the future, and it is slightly unknown. if they get locked in there is a possibility they will have to come back and negotiate all this theory good -- all this. by retaining the range of movement, it does allow some flexibility. the future is unknown. nobody wants this to happen. we all want the 50 units. we are working hard to make that happen, but things change, and i think and by retaining that range, it gives everybody a little bit of flexibility in case something changes. i cannot answer the question about changing them to an off site location. >> my understanding is that we
cannot tie --the developer has the option to do them off site. we cannot require them to do them on sight. it really is a case of planning did not come through. we are happy to stick with 50. it was a technical issue. i know the sponsor wants 50. the planning department wants stacy. it provides flexibility. but we are happy to keep 50 as a requirement. good >> i would be supportive of putting 50 in the motion. >> did we hear from the project sponsor or not? nab on the driveway -- may be on the driveway, the size of the curvb cut.
>> there was a letter dated monday confirming financing is in place for all fifth day. the checks have not been signed, but it is in place, so we are comfortable with a condition being 50 bmr units. if it comes apart, we are willing to come back and talk about it then. we are comfortable it is not going to fall apart, so we are willing to take that risk. it's seems quite secure, and we do not want to jeopardize it by having this uncertainty. >> you are ok with on site? >> right now it permits us to choose the on site option. we would have to come back to you to do it offside. the reason the driveway on buchanan seat is 20 feet is to reasons.
one is that is the one the parking will be utilizing. they will be coming once or twice a year. the second thing is that is a basement garage, so there is a fairly steep incline going to the driveway, so there is no visibility. unlike the driveway that does not have a steep slope, drivers will be familiar with it. it is not safe to narrow it less than 20 feet. is one in and one out. it is not a wider than that, but now it would not be good to widen it because of the people driving in and out of the garage. good >> i am supportive of specifying 50 p.m. mar -- 50